Smokey Robinson was just a kid when Berry Gordy, a budding record company mogul, signed him and his band The Miracles on to join him in what became Motown Records.

Over the next lifetime, the Detroit native, one of the first artists signed to Motown Records, became the face, the voice and inspiration for the label that came to define a generation of R&B artists. In addition to writing and recording some of pop music’s most iconic hits — “My Girl,” “Cruisin,” “My Guy,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tears of A Clown,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and so many more — Robinson, a co-founder of the label, worked behind the scenes cultivating talent and writing songs for other artists.

Motown in many ways was and is Smokey Robinson, something that might come through loud and clear when he takes the Centennial Hall stage on Saturday, Oct. 5, to open UA Presents’ 25th season.

Robinson’s show celebrates 60 years of Motown, from those iconic hits that landed him in the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame.

The multi-Grammy winner, who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, goes on stage at 8 p.m.

UA Presents’ 25th season continues Oct. 16 with Lila Downs’ “Día De Los Muertos: AL CHILE” concert at Centennial Hall. Other season highlights include the kid-friendly Broadway Princess Party on Dec. 15; Maceo Parker & His Big Band (part of the 2020 Tucson Jazz Festival) on Jan. 10, 2020; and the multimedia world music extravaganza of “Niyaz: The Fourth Light Project” on March 5. For tickets and a complete season schedule visit uapresents.org

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.